Since mid-February, doctors, nurses, and other medical staff have been systematically targeted. PHR corroborated testimonies about middle of the night abductions, beatings, and detentions incommunicado at unknown interrogation centers.
As a result, a senior UN human rights official called "the targeting of medical workers deeply distressing." Another UN torture expert denounced "the appalling killing and ill-treatment of protestors, including those in hospitals." The World Medical Association (WMA) demanded accountability for those responsible, saying:
"Physicians have an ethical duty to care for their patients, and governments have a duty to ensure that appropriate conditions exist to allow them to do so."
Nonetheless, on March 15, Salamaniya Hospital was militarized, staff members terrorized, abducted, interrogated, and detained, including leading Bahraini specialists. PHR also documented egregious abuses against patients and detainees, including torture, beatings, verbal abuse, humiliation, and threatened rape, other sexual abuse, or death.
In fact, testimonies obtained from 47 informants were consistent with a systematic, coordinated campaign to abduct, detain, and torture civilians involved in February and March pro-democracy demonstrations. Methods used to arrest them include:
-- roadblocks and checkpoints throughout the country, focusing on Shia areas;
-- checking medical records for smoke inhalation or bullet wounds;
-- published, televised, or Internet photos of protesters;